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Impact If GPIF Buys More Japan Stocks Substantial, Manulife Says

Hidehiro Tomioka, who helps oversee $1.3 billion in Japanese equities at Manulife Asset Management (Japan) Ltd. in Tokyo comments on Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund’s decision to discuss changes to its asset balance:

“They are a huge investor and any sort of meaningful asset-allocation change will impact the market substantially.”

“The impact on the Japanese equities if they were to increase would be substantial because they’re a big investor and GPIF changing its asset allocation would be very symbolic. It’s likely that other pension funds, both public and private, will consider following suit.”

“I doubt that they will increase Japanese equities. Because they are conservative, slow, the late-comers. I guess they are still risk-averse.”

“If GPIF were to increase Japanese equities, the blue-chips would be the ones that benefit the most. I would look into these international blue-chips, if that were to happen.”

“With the bond market and long-term interest rate, I don’t think it’ll be that negative as demand for Japan government bonds is still strong, especially from financial institutions.”

“If you look at the ratios, like loan-to-deposits, it’s still low, so there’s still plenty of money chasing yield. The impact would be minimal even if they did decide to sell some of their bonds. For at least the next couple of years, demand still looks favorable.”

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